Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Campus (historic core)

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Institution Name: Bellarmine University
Original/Historic Place Name: Campus (historic core)
Location on Campus: 2001 Newburg Rd.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
post- 1950original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Building group
Style(s) of majority of buildings: Modern/post-WWII, Contemporary
Style(s) of minority of buildings: Contemporary
Building group type: Other: historic land. Campus includes hilly land, a rill of Beargrass Creek, and buildings located in Quadrangle; along hill road; and athletic buildings (including Knights Hall that can seat up to 4,000).
Relationship to landscape:
none specified
Ideas associated with building group:
none specified
1950-present (2007)master plan (campus)

Significance: architecture, history, landscape
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Bellarmine University campus stands on historic, hilly grounds about five miles southeast of downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The property was part of a land grant from King George III to James McCorkle for his services in the French and Indian War. When the American Republic was born, the land was re-titled by Gov. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, of which Kentucky was then a part.

In the antebellum period, the land was a plantation owned by the Griffin family. During the Civil War, it was used as a military hospital. In 1869, the property was purchased by Louisville Catholic Bishop William George McCloskey who used it for his residence. Over the next 70 years, it served at various times as a seminary (Preston Park) and as an orphanage (St. Thomas and St. Vincent).

This rolling land in Kentucky's Outer Bluegrass was selected for the location of Bellarmine University when it was established as Bellarmine College in 1950. Although campus buildings are post-World War II and are modern in style, three campus statues in the Quad reflect a historical theme: an equestrian knight, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Angela Merici (foundress of the Ursuline Sisters).

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bellarmine University Catalog. Louisville, KY: Bellarmine University, 2001-2003, 12.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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Last update: November 2006